Hibernia secures €286m war chest for new deals
HIBERNIA REIT believe there will still be opportunities to buy property over the next 12 to 18 months, even as prices continue to climb sharply in Dublin.
In an interim management statement covering the four months since October 1, the firm said it had secured a €286m war chest to finance future acquisitions and expected to be in the mix to buy more properties in the year ahead.
The firm said it has sold off around a third of the Dorville portfolio of properties it bought from Ulster Bank a year ago.
That portfolio included 17 commercial properties, mostly around Dublin. When that deal closed, the company said it would sell off the parts of that portfolio it considered to be "non-core".
The fit-out of the 213 apartments in Block 3, Wyckham Point which Hibernia took over last year "remains on schedule and within budget, with the first units expected to be completed and available for rent in second quarter of 2015 and full completion in the second half of 2015".
"Work has continued on preparation for the office developments at Windmill Lane and 1-6 Sir John Rogerson's Quay: a detailed update will be given at the full year results in May," the company added.
Hibernia bought Commerzbank House for nearly €90m two months ago.
The firm said "agreement has been reached with Commerz Management Services Ltd regarding the early surrender of their lease as planned. A surrender premium of €2.4m has been received, equating to 12 months of rent, together with a further amount for dilapidations".
"The Company intends to refurbish the building to Grade A standard during 2015 ahead of re-letting," the company added.
Company chief executive Kevin Nowlan said this year had started well.
"The fourth quarter of 2014 saw a high level of transaction activity in the market ahead of the ending of the Capital Gains Tax relief for property on 31 December: much of this was at the sub-institutional scale or otherwise not of interest to us. 2015 has started positively, with a number of opportunities which we are actively assessing with our usual discipline.
"With the proceeds of our capital raise and significant debt capacity, we are well positioned to take advantage of the acquisition opportunities we expect in the next 12 to 18 months," he added.
Shares in Hibernia REIT were little changed at €1.12.
The shares are almost flat on the last year. REIT shares tend to lag the movement in the property market.